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Thread: what # leader

  1. #1

    Default what # leader

    So I don't have the new rod yet as the fly show is not until next month but I figured I would get some questions out of the way while it is still winter. I am going to be fishing the Kenai in Sept for bows and need to know how you guys set up your line for this. I know the basics with the indicator and shot, bead, hook etc. but am looking for info on what # leader to use. Am I making a tapered line from the fly line to the hook or straight ____ # line the whole way? Do most guys run 8, 6, 5# line? Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I run 5 line with 12lb leader straight mono. I keep it pretty simple. alot of guys do run tapered leader.
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  3. #3

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    It's not the # line so much as the size of fish and fly involved; if you are talking nymphing or swinging flies, in AK, maxima (stiffer, greater diameter) is used far more than any other brand. I certainly wouldn't ever put 12# on a 5wt. 10-15# is what I put on an 8 wt; 5-8# on a 5-6 wt. I would never, ever, put more than 15# maxima as a terminal leader, unless you are going after king salmon, in which case you will need a much stronger rod (10 wt or more).

    If you are using something other than maxima, you are dealing with a different stiffness and line diameter - so this wouldn't apply. It also doesn't apply to dry fly fishing.

    My leaders are either untapered; or slightly tapered (one size up nearest the fly line), and short total length (~6 ft).
    Last edited by stevesch; 01-18-2009 at 09:51. Reason: add info

  4. #4
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    For bows on the Kenai in Sept, I would imagine that a 9 foot tapered leader in the 10-12 lb range would be pretty good. Some would say grab a few 12 footers perhaps, but if I am in water that deep, I will be throwing a 16 foot type III or IV sink tip with a 4 foot section of 12-14 lb leader material/mono on the end.

    If throwing them on an eight weight, I might look up to 10-14 lb, if I was using a 6 wt, I would probably lean towards 8-12 lb leaders. Within reason, there is no wrong leader. Don't worry to much about it. Just pick up some 9 foot tapered leaders in the 8-14 lb range. You will be covered.

    Just don't get cheap leaders. Often the reason they are marked down is because they have been sitting around for ever and not selling. As leaders get old, they loose their strength. Don't ask me to prove this as I can't. But heard and read it enough times to pay attention. I always throw out leaders that I have had over one year without using.




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  5. #5
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default leaders

    I tie my own leaders because it lets me customize them to the water conditions that day. For bead fishing, I use three sections of mono line and fluorocarbon for tippet. I usually use 17-15-12 in mono, and 10lb fluoro tippet. The tappered/stepped down leaders are easier to cast for me. I vary the length of the leader, usually by adjusting the tippet length. Most of the time, I start out with a 9 or 19 leader, and make changes from there as needed.

    Jake

  6. #6
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    I'm with jakec5253. Tie a 3 section leader. I usually go 12#-10#-8# tippit.
    Might be a little light for some folks. Especially on the kenai when 99.9% of fishing is below surface, casting presentation is not that big of a deal and the main purpose of a tapered leader. With water clarity and depth that it is, just throw one together and start thrashing the water.

  7. #7
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    It depends on the conditions and the fishing but I'll use anything between 1x and 5x for tippet my favorite being 2x flouro. I use like 6 feet of 30# maxima then 2 or 3 feet of 20# maxima than the tippet maybe some 15 pound thrown in there somewhere...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  8. #8
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    A fall run Kenai rainbow, a big one, will run 15lbs or better. Think silver salmon when you are talking about gear. Most of you fish will be in the 16 -24 inch range, but if you hook into a big one, then we are talking over 30 inches and 15lbs plus. The kenai is translucent with sediment, so it's not like fishing a crystal clear river where trout get spooked. They are opportunitst looking for a big easy meal, in a short window of visual opportunity (flesh flies, beads, leaches, sculpins, etc... ) Tie good knots, use good quality leader, and a rod to handle a fish that size in fast, but usually open water. 99% of the time if it goes airborne immediately you have a rainbow, if it dives and bull dogs, you have a dolly. Mad Dog.

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    I've always used tapered leaders, never made my own. When you guys make your own leaders using various weights of monofiliment, what knot do you use to tie them together? I've had problems with surgeons knots slipping if the line diameters are not close enough.

    Also, do you use anything special on the knots to make them smoother or hold better?

    Thx

  10. #10
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borntofish61 View Post
    I've always used tapered leaders, never made my own. When you guys make your own leaders using various weights of monofiliment, what knot do you use to tie them together? I've had problems with surgeons knots slipping if the line diameters are not close enough.

    Also, do you use anything special on the knots to make them smoother or hold better?

    Thx
    Double Surgeon
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  11. #11
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default leader knots

    I use a nail knot splice, using the nail knot tool.

    Jake

  12. #12
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borntofish61 View Post
    what knot do you use to tie them together?
    Thx
    blood knot...
    ------------------------------------------------
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  13. #13
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    Default Uni knot

    I use the Uni-knot, and I only use an 8 foot section of 12 lb test, with 2x tippet ~ 2 feet. The tapered leader isn't really important unless you're looking to get a tight loop while casting with very little weight (i.e. dry flies).
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  14. #14

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    Not just dries for me - I get a little better turnover on weighted flies in the wind using a short tapered leader as well.

  15. #15
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    I prefer the double overhand, three hitch granny knot myself.....

    That's about the only one that wasn't mentioned....sheesh, such diversity.

    I tie bloodknots. With beads I run 12 to 10 (maxima), If they are being picky, I run 2x fluoro for tippet.

    Swingin, I use either 15 ,12 ,10 or 12 ,10. Usually 8 to 9 ft. long.

  16. #16
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    I usually use a 2-section leader - depending on what I'm after and how fast the water is flowing I go with something like (heavy to light):
    25-17 or 20-14 (8/7 wt)
    17-12 or 17-10 (7/5 wt)
    14-10 or 14-8 (5 wt)

    Sometimes I just run straight mono if I'm in a hurry (or lazy). I like fluorocarbon for a tippet. Maxima green is a standard. I also started using Gamma mono last year and have really liked it. total of 4-6 feet if I'm using a sink tip, 8-12 feet if I'm using floating line.

    I usually use a uni-knot (I kinda suck at tying blood knots - it takes me a while). The past couple of years I've gone to the double surgeon - it's fast and easy and hasn't failed me yet.
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